Remember during the Obama Administration, when everyone at NBC was doing the Carlton dance for Jimmy Fallon, his ratings were bulletproof, Emma Stone was lip-syncing Blues Traveler’s songs and Justin Timberlake showed up every other week with another rap montage? Good times, right? Meanwhile, there were warnings that British Fallon, James Corden, could take over his slot, and it was a bleak outlook for the former host of The Colbert Report?
Donald Trump changed everything. Now Fallon’s ratings have slipped below that of Stephen Colbert in overall viewers, and guess what? NBC wants the guy who said “I don’t get involved in politics,” and the guy who was humanizing Donald Trump by tousling his hair playfully to get into politics.
From Page 6 (via HuffPo):
“He has to change his format to keep up because he’s losing viewers,” a source told Page Six. “They had to figure out a way to get Trump [into his routine] because he’s too weak on Trump, and viewers are going elsewhere.”
The key issue in many people’s eyes is that Fallon is unwilling to play the role David Letterman and Jon Stewart once did ― that of the moral comedian who consistently challenges those in power. Fallon prefers to be affable with his guests. Colbert, on the other hand, has embraced the role, which led to his greatest period of success since he started hosting “The Late Show.”
“[Fallon is] uncomfortable talking about politics, and that’s not what the people want,” an insider told Page Six.
Late night talk show hosts have to change with the times — it was all fun and games when 20 million more people had healthcare. But now, Fallon is the Backstreet Boys when we need Rage Against the Machine. There’s no more 90’s sitcoms to reunite. Jimmy Fallon doesn’t have another gear; I’m not sure he knows how turn that weakness into a strength. It’s like asking a puppy to take a ball of yarn and strangle a tiger to death.